Archives for August 2011

Natural Beauty and Green Technology at Green & Main

What is beauty? Who “gets” it? Why have we, as a society, put so much stock in that which is “beautiful” that we easily ignore our health, finances, family and other valued portions of our life to achieve that which is considered beautiful.

Let’s take the Green & Main Initiative for example.

The Week in Green: August 20-26, 2011

This week in Green: SmartPlanet features an article on Hobbit-inspired structures by Sun Joo Kim. The Hobbit House of Montana is a rentable guest house at $245 a night, located in Trout Creek, Montana. The owner of the property, Steve Michaels, was asked the question, “So, what inspired you to do this?”

Confessions of a Fairgoer: Opinions on Sustainability

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to camp at the Iowa State Fair.

It was a perfect weekend to walk around the 435-acre fairgrounds (admittedly, that includes parking lots and all). The sun was out and there was a breeze to cool us off when the shade wasn’t available.

Profiles in Green: Jason Anderson and the Building of Green & Main

If you want to meet the man behind all that’s happening at the Green & Main project site, you’ll have to first wait for him to find a good pausing point from whatever project is currently tying up his hands. You must be patient as you get interrupted for a multitude of construction questions, and then make sure that you’re able to squeeze in a time between the meetings he holds with everyone involved in the project.

The Week in Green: August 13-19, 2011

As Kermit the Frog has said, it’s not easy being green. We at Green & Main are here to make that statement not true. Part of knowing how to make being green easier is to see the vastly different areas that are impacted by sustainable technologies and innovations. This article is a roundup of green technology, building science and sustainability news locally grown and wherever green news happens.

Sustainable Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright was not a green designer in the contemporary sense, but he was doing some things that today one might call sustainable. He was concerned with natural climate control, particularly trying to keep buildings cool and ventilated naturally. He believed in the value of natural light and maximized its creative use in his designs.

Profiles in Green: Cohousing from an Author’s Newbie Perspective

For those of us who remember growing up in the Midwest decades ago, the concept of cohousing isn’t far off from what we experienced in our typical neighborhoods. As for me, I grew up in the 60’s and the 70’s with hundreds (it seemed) of other kids running amok around a two-block square, and we needed “special permission” to cross streets into “other” neighborhoods. All the parents knew us and knew our parents and it wasn’t uncommon to be corrected by just about any adult who happened to be around to witness what we were up to.

Iowa’s First Cohousing Development: Putting the Wheels into Motion

This article is a follow-up to “Iowans and Cohousing: A Look into the Growing U.S. Interest in Cohousing and How Iowans are Responding” published in the July 2011 e-newsletter and on the Green & Main website. In Part II, read about a presentation given in Des Moines by architect, author and cohousing leader Charles Durrett and learn more about Turtle Farm Cohousing Community and those who support this initiative.

July Construction: Birthing a Vision of the Future, Building a Birth Center

A single wall can make a statement – a strong statement!

Yes, a single wall can outline the intent of a whole building. The plane of this wall can define an entire room – its surface and the raw material capturing the emotion of atmosphere and anticipation. This statement is especially true during construction, when architectural form comes to life in anticipation of the future, foreshadowing the beauty of the space and the celebration of its use.

Profiles in Green: Whoa… I gained a LIFE!

Profiles in Green is an on-going series on how people incorporate or express sustainability in their lives. Today’s profile is by Johanna Hoffman.

Green Technology and the Economy

Our Monday postings include information on the integration of green technology and building science. The flavor of today’s posting is marinated with green jobs, the economy and how these jobs are developed for the short and long-term.

Cohousing on the Prairie: Frank Lloyd Wright and Community Planning

Like a number of other architects of his era, such as Daniel Burnham and the French early modernist Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright became interested in urban and community planning and gave it considerable attention throughout his career.